Gingerbread Brownies

12/19 update: Three people have now said that these brownies came out bitter for them. A few have said that they were great and that they loved them. I’ve made these over a dozen times and they’re quite sweet and not at all bitter for me. The person who made the recipe video said, “No, they were definitely not bitter, they were quite sweet actually! We made the recipe twice and both times the brownies tasted amazing. Everyone who tried them liked them very much. And that is confirmed by a lot of people because we gave them away before we left for the trip. I don’t understand how could they be bitter? This is just weird!”

I have no idea how to explain this if people are following the recipe 100%. I suppose to be on the safe side, you should use regular molasses and not blackstrap (which I used every time during testing – and I tried 3 different brands). Please also weigh the ingredients, especially the coconut sugar!

These gingerbread brownies are gooey, moist and loaded with molasses and warm spices. They’re also paleo, gluten-free and can be made vegan.

If you look at other gingerbread brownie recipes, you’ll find a lot of recipes that are regular brownie recipes with gingerbread spices and maybe a bit of added molasses. Not these!

There’s no chocolate in these, unless you want to add chocolate chips on top, like I did. They’re also delicious with about a cup of chocolate chips added to the batter. If you can have white chocolate, that’s also super yummy in these!

These brownies are all gingerbread but in gooey form. I think it’s an improvement over the cake version!

Someone on my coconut flour cookies post left a comment saying how glad they were that I had come up with an all coconut flour version of my paleo chocolate chip cookies. It made me so happy that I decided to make another coconut flour only recipe.

These gingerbread brownies really have an amazing texture. There’s no funky coconut flour weirdness to them at all! (nor, by the way, is there in those coconut flour cookies linked to above :)) Same goes for my coconut flour brownies.

I made these brownies 9 times over 2 days and each time they came out differently. I went by weight, used the same oven and pan so the only variables were the ingredients.

And still, every batch came out slightly to widely different. I like precision so this freaks me out.

After I made the first batch, I was so ridiculously excited that I went straight to my computer and started writing the post. When I took out the second batch (which I made to confirm that I hadn’t made a mistake with the first), the result just confused me.

When I was mixing that batch together, the oil didn’t incorporate with the other wet ingredients. I thought once I added the dry mix to the wet, that the oil would somehow incorporate. It didn’t.

I wasn’t going to waste all those ingredients so I baked them anyway and some of the oil floated to the top. It was like they were fried.

Fried gingerbread brownies! Perhaps a first in the world.

So I made them again and again and again. I’d run out of coconut sugar, coconut oil or molasses and open a new bag or jar. They were often different brands. Then I’d get different results.

So I’m going to be really honest and say I have no idea if your results will 100% look like mine. But they will be delicious!

They’ve been made by two other people so far and the results have been like what I describe. And the pictures don’t show how gooey they really are!

Is my post not convincing you? ;) You could always make these paleo vegan gingerbread cookies! These molasses cookies are also a favorite of my family’s.

If you need these to be paleo, make sure to use paleo baking powder. The store-bought stuff has cornstarch in it.

Substitution questions for these gingerbread brownies:

  • Can I use another type of flour?

    There’s no sub for coconut flour as it absorbs so much more liquid than any other flour so – nope. You have to use coconut flour.

  • What can I use instead of molasses?

    These gingerbread brownies get their gingerbready flavor from the molasses. So unfortunately you have to use it.

    It also has a different consistency than other liquid sweeteners like maple syrup and honey so I’m not so sure how those would work out. I’m thinking definitely no to maple syrup and maybe to honey. But then you’d have honey-flavored brownies with some gingerbread spices.

  • Can I omit the egg / use a different egg replacement?

    Definitely don’t just omit the egg. A chia egg worked great and I bet a flax egg would, too.

  • Can you taste the coconut oil?

    You could taste it in the batter but once baked, all I tasted were the spices! So feel free to use refined or unrefined.

  • Can you use something other than coconut oil?

    Butter would work for a dairy-containing version!

  • Can I use something else in place of the coconut sugar?

    You can use granulated sugar (which means they’re no longer paleo). Liquid sweetener won’t work. I haven’t tried it but perhaps Lakanto Monkfruit sweetener would work for a lower-carb version?

Gingerbread Brownies (paleo, vegan, gluten-free)

Rated 4.9 by 11 readers
Gingerbread Brownies
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 16 brownies


  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (112 grams) coconut flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 9 tablespoons (126 grams) coconut oil, room temperature1
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) coconut sugar, very tightly packed (it's best to weigh this!)
  • 2/3 cup (235 grams) molasses (see note at top of blog post - don't use blackstrap)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg (50 grams, out of shell), room temperature or 1 chia egg for vegan
  • 1/2-3/4 cup (85-125 grams) mini chocolate chips to sprinkle on top (make sure to use vegan / paleo chocolate)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line an 8 × 8-inch (20 × 20 cm) baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, beat the coconut oil, sugar, molasses and vanilla until well combined. There shouldn't be any bits of coconut oil at all. It should totally combined with the other ingredients. Beat in the egg just until well combined. Fold in the flour just until very few streaks of flour remain. Pour into the prepared pan, sprinkle with chocolate chips, and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the edges of the brownies comes out clean.
  4. Let cool completely. The brownies may puff up in the oven but will fall back down while cooling. Using the parchment paper overhang, lift the brownies out of the pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.


  1. It should be like softened butter - not rock hard straight from the fridge and not at all melty - you should be able to mix it with a hand mixer.

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62 comments on “Gingerbread Brownies” — Add one!

2 comments are awaiting moderation!

  • Colleen says
    December 25, 2020 @ 7:58 pm

    I was nervous to try these because of the comments about the bitterness, but I used blackstrap molasses and I think they are delicious! I did omit the cloves because I personally don’t like the taste of them, and I used regular sugar because I didn’t have coconut sugar, but I kept the rest of the recipe the same and they are so good! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Erin replies to Colleen
      January 3, 2021 @ 5:46 pm

      Hi Colleen! I’m sorry for just now seeing your comment. This is the only recipe I have where some people say it doesn’t work and it drives me bonkers because I don’t know what they’re doing wrong. Lots of us have made them with blackstrap and loved them. Others say that they’re inedible. I don’t get it. 🤷‍♀️ So I really, really appreciate you leaving feedback! Especially that you used blackstrap and that you loved them. I tell people not to use blackstrap but they do it anyway and then complain. Thanks again and sorry for my slow reply! The last few weeks have been crazy.

  • Tammi says
    December 24, 2020 @ 6:13 pm

    Hi there, I made these yesterday. Unfortunately, they were inedible. I think the problem may be that the molasses measurement is given in grams and cups but they don’t match, at least with my blackstrap molasses. As I was measuring by grams, I noticed that it was way more than 2/3 cup. It could be that the 235g is too much? I did try and put less in (about 180g) but they still were too bitter. They were also quite oily.

    • Erin replies to Tammi
      December 25, 2020 @ 10:40 am

      Hi! I’m sorry that they didn’t work for you. The amount in grams is correct, at least with the brand of molasses I have. It says 1 tbsp = 22 grams. I also measure using cups and grams to make sure I’m not screwing things up. Like I said in the notes at the top, I don’t recommend using blackstrap molasses because some people said the brownies were bitter with it. But I, and several commenters, made them with blackstrap and loved them. I’m not sure what the issue is! I didn’t find them bitter at all. Concerning the oiliness – do you live outside of the US? It could be a difference in ingredients. Coconut flour can be quite coarse in some countries. That could be it. Or did you make any changes or subs at all to the recipe? It could be that by reducing the molasses so much, the proportions were off, making the brownies oily.

  • Amber Swift says
    December 24, 2019 @ 11:53 pm

    These are amazing!!! All of your recipes are fabulous including this one. We made it as is…used a scale as suggested!! A wonderful Christmas treat!!

    • Erin replies to Amber Swift
      December 30, 2019 @ 12:41 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for your comment. :)

  • Jen
    May 5, 2019 @ 4:44 pm

    I made these today and substituted an erythritol/monk fruit sweetener for the coconut sugar… And used organic Wholesome blackstrap molasses… They turned out delicious! I was very impressed with the texture and flavor. I did not put in 3/4 cup sweetener, o used a little over 1/2 cup and it is plenty sweet! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    • Erin replies to Jen
      May 8, 2019 @ 8:39 pm

      You’re welcome! That’s great that your subs worked out well. :) And good to know that 1/2 cup is enough! Thanks a ton for your feedback (as always :))

  • Brianna Wolin says
    February 1, 2019 @ 4:18 pm

    I love the uniqueness of this flavor profile! I’ll have to make this ASAP!

  • Kortney says
    January 31, 2019 @ 11:09 pm

    I wonder why these were bitter for someone. May be the molasses – not a taste everyone is use to or maybe their ingredients are off. This is always tricky when its comes to writing recipes – the one thing you can’t control is what ingredients are used.

    • Erin replies to Kortney
      February 5, 2019 @ 7:40 pm

      Seems to be the molasses for some people! Other people have loved them with blackstrap molasses. I still don’t get it. :/

  • Monica says
    January 31, 2019 @ 12:28 am

    Ooh! I love the idea of gingerbread brownies! Two of my favorite things combined! They look delicious!

  • Char
    January 9, 2019 @ 6:08 pm

    hi as i read comments i made these brownies mine were delish, also DONT USE BLACKSTRAP Molasses it gives a bitter taste. I used Brer Rabbit Full Flavor Molasses, my brother is a Chef and said blackstrap molasses will give bitter taste. Blackstrap molasses is produced after the third boiling of molasses and gives food a bitter taste.

    • Erin replies to Char
      January 14, 2019 @ 10:49 am

      I’m thrilled that you enjoyed them! Thanks for your feedback. :) I made these with blackstrap every time (different brands, too!) so I just can’t understand why some people find them bitter. So strange. Thanks again for your comment!

      • Ann Kite replies to Erin
        January 19, 2024 @ 3:28 am

        Erin, Im wondering if it could be as simple as the way peoples’ taste buds work? You know how some people love cilantro and some hate it– depends on their own taste buds? Wonder if molasses works the same way?🤷🏻‍♀️ Just thought!

        • Erin replies to Ann Kite
          January 24, 2024 @ 10:47 am

          Hi Ann! I think it might be an acquired taste. I made a double batch for the kindergarten teachers this Christmas and they all claimed to have loved them. 🤷‍♀️ I read on a forum recently where people were appalled that a recipe called for blackstrap molasses, but a few people said they always use blackstrap and don’t understand what all the fuss was about. Maybe some brands are really, really bitter? I don’t get it. Thanks for your comment and I wish you a great day. :)

  • Kristen Wood
    January 7, 2019 @ 4:24 am

    These sound SO amazing, Erin! I’m pinning to try later!

  • Jen
    December 29, 2018 @ 2:41 am

    These are excellent! As is every recipe make off this site! I am thrilled that they are made with coconut flour! They turned out delicious…I used blackstrap molasses.
    My guess when people say bitter… The ginger may be too strong for them. Cutting the ginger in half may help… But we love strong ginger here! (:
    Thank you for this delicious recipe!

    • Erin replies to Jen
      January 2, 2019 @ 8:44 pm

      I’m so sorry for just now seeing your comment! I didn’t realize I wouldn’t have internet at my in-laws over the holidays. :/ I’m super happy to get another comment saying that these are delicious, even with using blackstrap molasses! I don’t feel like there’s a ton of ginger in these but maybe the problem could be that my ginger is just old and other people have fresher stuff? Thanks for the suggestion! It’s just so confusing for me. And I’m also happy that you like my other recipes. :) Thanks again for your comment!

  • Virginia
    December 22, 2018 @ 10:34 pm

    Here is another comment on how bitter one batch was. The first batch I made, I used Truvia blend brown sugar sweetener and a fancy molasses and they were delicious. I made a second batch using an organic molasses, more like blackstrap and coconut sugar. My coconut sugar did not pack, so I’m thinking it was not as sweet as yours. I have since found out that blackstrap molasses is the bitterest. I am going to try them again using a fancy molasses. Also, different brands probably taste different.

    • Erin replies to Virginia
      December 24, 2018 @ 10:08 am

      Yes, the problem all seems to be the molasses. :/ I live in Germany so have access to different brands here. But they were labeled blackstrap so I’m hoping that they are indeed blackstrap! It’s great to know that Truvia works well in these. Thanks for your tip and feedback!

  • Kelly says
    December 22, 2018 @ 12:19 am

    I just made these. Super easy! Very basic ingredients. I was surprised it didn’t call for cocoa powder. They are a tad crumbly but super tastey and moist. Will 100% make again. May try to use a very ripe banana so i can 1/2 the sugar to make a tad healthier??

    • Erin replies to Kelly
      December 24, 2018 @ 10:14 am

      Well, crumbly is new. :D This recipe is just a mystery. I’ve never really used banana as a sugar (or fat) replacement but if that’s something you’ve done before, I’d hope it’d work here, too. :) I’d love to hear how it comes out! Thanks a bunch for your comment. I was super happy to read that they came out well!

  • Shana says
    December 19, 2018 @ 4:40 am

    The first batch I made, the clove was too strong. The next batch, I just omitted the cloves. We love them! Mine seem to come out looking darker than yours, but maybe that is lighting. Another great recipe!! Thanks!!

    • Erin replies to Shana
      December 19, 2018 @ 2:10 pm

      I’m so happy you enjoyed them! What brand of molasses did you use? I ask since the previous reviewers said they were bitter and mine (with my 3 different brands of molasses I used during testing) were far from bitter. Thanks a bunch for your comment! I was very happy to get it. :)

      • Shana replies to Erin
        December 20, 2018 @ 12:43 am

        I used Plantation Blackstrap molasses. My husband said he detected a slight bitterness, but it wasn’t too bad. I guess I didn’t really notice it. :)

        • Erin replies to Shana
          December 20, 2018 @ 7:35 pm

          Ok, great! Thanks so much for coming back to let me know. :)

  • Bev says
    December 17, 2018 @ 8:42 pm

    I have loved all of your recipes and I’m pretty picky. But this one—-

    I followed this recipe to the letter and I have to agree with another reader/person that commented – they came out bitter. I gave them to my man to taste test today and he concurred. I think it has to do with the amount of blackstrap molasses in the recipe maybe?


    • Erin replies to Bev
      December 17, 2018 @ 8:50 pm

      Hmm. I checked my jars of molasses again (because I tested them with 3 different kinds) and they’re definitely blackstrap. I’ve now made these about 12-15 times and had two other people test them before posting so I’m not sure what the issue could be. I’m sorry you found them bitter! I wish I knew what the issue was. Is it your first time using blackstrap molasses? Some say it’s an acquired taste. Maybe that’s it? My husbands absolutely hates anything (including recipes that other people love, so it’s not just me!) with it. Did you very tightly pack the coconut sugar? I definitely recommend going by weight!

      • Bev replies to Erin
        December 18, 2018 @ 8:08 pm

        No, I bake all the time and have used blackstrap molasses in other recipes over a long period of years; I’m thinking it’s the amount required maybe mixing with the coconut flour? I LOVE your ginger cookies (also calls for molasses, which I use blackstrap in) but no bitterness there. My co-workers who do not eat Paleo or very healthy at all for that matter love them too, but I don’t bring in a lot of them, too expensive to be sharing with them very often!Keep up the good work, so far this is the only recipe that I was a little disappointed in, the remainder have all been perfect! Happy Holidays, Erin!

        • Erin replies to Bev
          December 18, 2018 @ 8:15 pm

          Well darn. I was hoping that might explain it! I’ve tested this recipe so many times and shared them with a few different people (who all claimed to love them!) at this point so I’m not sure what it could be. Perhaps my molasses isn’t as bitter as yours? What brand did you use? I used Meridian Organic Blackstrap Molasses. I’m happy you like the other recipes and thanks for coming back to answer! Happy holidays to you, too. :)

  • Nora says
    December 16, 2018 @ 12:03 am

    What is the total sugar content in the brownies?

    • Erin replies to Nora
      December 17, 2018 @ 2:37 pm

      I don’t have that info but you could use this recipe analyzer for the nutritional profile. :)

  • Victoria says
    December 15, 2018 @ 9:14 am

    Um, delicious! I love how fudgey and thick these look! I love gingerbread more than life itself, so I’m definitely going to try these brownies! YUM.

    xo, Victoria

    • Erin replies to Victoria
      December 17, 2018 @ 2:32 pm

      I hope you’ll enjoy them! :)

  • LeAnne says
    December 15, 2018 @ 4:55 am

    These were awful. Bitter to point of inedible.

    • Erin replies to LeAnne
      December 17, 2018 @ 2:32 pm

      If you used 3/4 cup of coconut sugar in these, as the recipe calls for, and didn’t make any subs or other changes to the recipe, these are so far from bitter. They’re quite sweet (as brownies usually are).

      • Virginia replies to Erin
        December 22, 2018 @ 10:39 pm

        Erin, does your coconut sugar pack? I pictured it as being moist like regular brown sugar, which packs. The coconut sugar I bought did not pack. It poured like granulated sugar. Might it not be as sweet? Also, I was told that coconut sugar is still sugar, so if you are trying to avoid sugar, you should avoid coconut sugar as well as cane sugar.

        • Erin replies to Virginia
          December 24, 2018 @ 10:11 am

          Mine pours too but you can still really pack it down. And coconut sugar is definitely still sugar but I prefer it over granulated sugar. :) I replied to your other comment, too (just saying since you didn’t have comment notification on for that one!).

  • Alisa Fleming says
    December 13, 2018 @ 6:50 pm

    The depth of flavors in these brownies must be unreal! I haven’t tried molasses and chocolate together, but am totally intrigued now.

  • Sarah says
    December 13, 2018 @ 4:56 am

    I love chocolate and gingerbread together and brownies are always a favorite. Might be how I have to roll for quick and easy this year instead of cookies.

  • Dreena Burton
    December 13, 2018 @ 4:14 am

    These brownies look ah-maze – so moist and fudgyI agree about the molasses – there isn’t really a sub, good on you for pointing that out.

  • Nicole Dawson says
    December 12, 2018 @ 6:17 pm

    Looks super delish though and love that you used coconut flour. That can be a little tricky to work with since it’s so dense, but these look nice and fluffy, like they should be.

  • Lisa says
    December 12, 2018 @ 5:37 pm

    Mine are in the oven! Hope I didn’t screw it up…added 1/4 cocoa powder to the batter! I just love your coconut flour brownies and couldn’t resist. Fingers crossed!

    • Erin replies to Lisa
      December 13, 2018 @ 6:53 am

      Did they come out well? I worry adding the cocoa powder might have made them dry. :( But fingers crossed! And I’m happy to hear that you like the coconut flour brownies. :)

  • Brianna says
    December 12, 2018 @ 3:28 pm

    I love a spicy twist on chocolate!

  • Jules Shepard says
    December 12, 2018 @ 3:10 pm

    WOW! In love with this recipe (and the pictures actually)! Can’t wait to give it a try.

  • Jo says
    December 11, 2018 @ 7:32 am

    Hi, Can I substitute banana for the egg? So excited to find a receipr I can bake 🙌🙌

    • Erin replies to Jo
      December 17, 2018 @ 2:39 pm

      Hello! Sorry for just now seeing your question. I’ve never used that sub. It might make them a little cakey but other than that I really don’t know. Sorry about that! There’s a chia egg version listed if that works for you. :)

  • sawanna says
    December 10, 2018 @ 10:22 pm

    how many calories are there? :)
    it looks soo delicious, can’t wait to try the recipe!!

    • Erin replies to sawanna
      December 17, 2018 @ 2:42 pm

      So sorry for just now seeing your question! I don’t have that info but you could use this recipe analyzer for the nutritional profile. :)

  • Kelly
    December 10, 2018 @ 9:15 pm

    These sound and look so good! I LOVE molasses. I always use more in my cookies than it calls for…can’t get enough. Might just have to give these a try. I’ll let you know if I do!

    • Kelly
      replies to Kelly
      January 13, 2019 @ 6:10 am

      I was contemplating making these this weekend and once I got on to get the recipe and saw your update about people having bitter results, I decided I definitely had to try them. So all I can say is WOW!…so spicy. I love to try batter and they were overpowering raw. Then I tried them warm…still too spicy but nice and chewy, gooey for brownies. Now that they are cool…just really spicy. Which is so weird because I love ginger and cloves and cinnamon and nutmeg. But I think when I make these again, I will reduce the cloves and ginger (hardly believe I am saying that.) I did add white chocolate chips which made them better. These would be really good with some kind of frosting to cut through the spiciness of the brownies. Thanks for such a great recipe!

      • Erin replies to Kelly
        January 14, 2019 @ 10:46 am

        I’m so happy that you liked them! Thanks for letting me know. :) So for you, they weren’t bitter, just really spicy? That’s so strange! One other person said that they were also very spicy. For me, they weren’t. Just normal gingerbready! I just don’t understand what the deal is. It’s so bizarre. I’ve never had something like this happen with one of my recipes. Thank you again for leaving feedback! It’s especially nice to get some positive comments on this crazy recipe. :)

        • Kelly
          replies to Erin
          February 5, 2019 @ 8:34 pm

          Ok, I tried these again over the weekend. Altered the recipe by using non-blackstrap molasses and eliminated the cloves altogether per my husband’s request and added white chocolate chips. Much better. Not quite as strong. I guess I like weak gingerbread and I love gingerbread flavors but the last pan I made was just WAY too strong. These were much better, not quite as strong.

        • Erin replies to Kelly
          February 10, 2019 @ 1:21 pm

          I’m happy you liked them better this time! White chocolate is definitely a good thing to add. :) It seems like everyone prefers a different amount of spice. I think I just won’t post gingerbread anything ever again because the feedback I’ve gotten is all so different (these are disgusting, perfect the way they are, too spicy, amazing, the worst ever). It’s all too controversial for me. ;) Thanks for coming back to let me know how they came out the second time!

  • Charlotte Moore
    December 10, 2018 @ 8:23 am

    YUMMY!! Looks so delicious!

  • Natalie
    December 10, 2018 @ 7:10 am

    They look so fudgy and delicious!


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